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Polish Music


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Author Topic: Polish Music  (Read 2278 times)
christopher
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« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2017, 11:51:38 am »

More on Tarasevich/Tarasiewicz:

from a Russian-language essay on Belarusian composers (google-translated):  http://elib.bspu.by/bitstream/doc/2769/1/1.%20Ян%20Тарасевич,%20Евгений%20Карлович%20Тикоцкий,%20Николай%20Щеглов-Куликович,%20Григорий%20Константинович%20Пукст.pdf

Yan Tarasevich (23/10/1893 - 06/18/1961), composer, pianist and teacher. He was born in the county town of Sokolka in Grodno province (now Sokółka, Podlasie, Poland). The father of the future composer was a Lieutenant colonel and a hero of the Russian-Turkish war. His parents died when he was seven years old, and he was taken into the care of his mother's second cousin. On the estate of this aunt the boy had a governess, who gave him his first knowledge in musical literacy and taught him to play the piano.

Jan loved to play music, but, like most children of aristocratic family, he prepared another for another destiny. The boy was sent to study at the St. Petersburg Cadet Corps. However, his love for music was stronger. Immediately after graduating he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Jan's musical talent manifested itself at the conservatory. His talent was noticed by the outstanding composer A. Glazunov, with whose help the first works of the young composer were published. Yan Tarasevich enjoyed great popularity as a brilliant performer. His abilities were noted by the leading musical lights of the time - Sergei Rahmaninov and Jean Sibelius. Tarasevich was presented at the court of the Russian Emperor, where he performed in concerts. The Tsar's daughter Maria was a fan.

But his success and promising future were interrupted by the October Revolution of 1917. The composer taught for some time at the Grodno Belarusian school. He was also involved in the creation of the short-lived independent Belarusian People's Republic in 1918. But after the establishment of Soviet power, he returned to the estate near Sokółka and completely gave himself to composing. In 1921, as a result of the Brest Treaty, Sokolka - being only a few kilometers from the border with Belarus, was included as part of Poland. Yan Tarasevich found himself outside his homeland. For many years he lived immovably on his estate. According to the recollections of local residents, the composer paid little attention to the farm, giving all his time to music. Many of his works are inspired by the atmosphere that prevailed around the estate. He felt the friendly disposition of local residents. In gratitude, the composer dedicated his "Banal Waltz" to them.

In 1939, after the arrival of Soviet troops, Tarasevich left his estate and travelled to Latvia, to wait out the "hard times." With the advent of Soviet power Tarasevich's estate  was nationalized, and all the land distributed to local peasants. When he returned to his home in 1942, he found it destroyed.

Having survived the war, in 1947 Tarasevich moved to Białystok to a small wooden house, consisting of a kitchen and one room in which the piano and bed could barely fit. Tarasevich lived in this house for fourteen years,  earning his living by giving private music lessons. Many of his students later became well-known musicians. The composer died in 1961, and  was buried in a cemetery in Sokółka, according to the terms of his will.

Living on the territory of Poland, Jan Tarasevicc did not lost his connection to  Belarusian culture. The root of many of his creations was the Belarusian folk music, and his vocal works were based on poems by Belarusian poets.  Tarasevich left behind 110 works of various genres. These include works for piano, choir, chamber and instrumental works, songs and romances, and one unfinished Piano Concerto.

Neither in life or after his death was Tarasevich's work recognised by Polish composers. A revival of interest in his music began only after the broadcast of the musical heritage of the composers of Belarus in 1997. In 2000, at the initiative of "Belarusian Capella" in Warsaw a CD was released, which includes 24 vocal and piano works of the composer, performed by artists of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society and the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater of Belarus.

In 2001, a book was published in Minsk by the singer Viktor Skorobogatov called "Without glory: the composer Yan Tarasevich". In mid-2007, Białystok TV recorded a documentary film "The Forgotten composer - Yan Tarasevich."

In 2011, a plaque was unveiled in Sokółka in memory of Jan Tarasevich.

In 2013 in Białystok, the Yan Tarasevich Festival took place, dedicated to the music of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

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